IHSMI 13-week journal softcoverI have now been using the 13-week journal prototype for two months and still have one month ahead of me until the first cycle completes; but I’ve seen enough improvements to be able to go ahead with v2.2 – this journal is currently in print. What is the 13-week journal? Day by Day, the 13-week journal, is the first product of the BetterJournaling® suite. Designed to help you with clarity, focus and productivity through journaling. An accountability partner for the next 13 weeks (and beyond), making you complete tasks today that are congruent with your long-term vision and year goals.

Feedback from my test-team

The special prototype-test-team has given me a lot of insight as to how they use the journal and what they like or dislike about it:

  • some don’t like to journal daily
  • some rather skip weekends for journaling
  • some preferred a hardcover
  • all of them wanted a bookmark
  • all of them noticed significant increase of focus

I called the journal Day by Day for a reason – every day I like to focus on my goals. I have 4 big year-goals: a business goal, a personal goal, a health goal, and a financial goal. On weekends, I’m much more likely to be focused on the health and personal goals, but they are still part of my overarching year-goals. I also believe that it is imperative to reflect on my day every day, no matter if I’ve been working on business goals or personal goals – even if I’ve taken a day off, or happen to be on vacation: reflection helps you to be more happy as it clears your mind!

Improving the 13-week journal

The daily and weekly templates are basically kept the same, with the exception of one question that was left out of v2. In the prototype there was a question “did I get closer to my year-goal?”, and I discovered that this was a silly question to attempt to answer: it was either going to be ‘yes’ or ‘no’ , which wasn’t very helpful.  In v2.2 this has been changed to “how can I get closer to my year-goal?”. Because, it’s very important to think about your daily activities in relation to your BIGGER goals. If you don’t, you’ll end up doing what is fun, and not what contributes to your goals.

A big change was made to the cycle of the week-reviews; particularly those that happened to coincide with the end of a month. In the current version of the journal, you get a week-review and planning, with a month-review and review and planning directly after it: #failure! I changed this to a week-review first, with a monthly-planning next: what is the focus of the coming month and what are you going to focus on each week? Then, a little more comprehensive focus for that month: writing down the milestones, what people to meet/contact; or, questions you need answers to in order to move forward. Finally, you come to the week-planning sheet, with all tasks for the next week. I am thinking of adding an indicator for which day these tasks are planned for in next iteration. For now, the week and month review look like this:

Summary of the changes

  • added values to the vision pages (where do you stand and where do you want to be),
  • improved the year-goals template with a page on how to break it down,
  • added a day indicator to the daily journaling templates,
  • improved week/month review templates,
  • new question “how can I get closer to my year-goals”,
  • hardcover matt lamination edition with bookmark!

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